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Video / DVD

New releases

A look at what's new on video

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 25, 2003

Alex & Emma

DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner

CAST: Luke Wilson, Kate Hudson, Sophie Marceau, Rob Reiner, David Paymer

SYNOPSIS: Romantic comedy about a debt-ridden author (Wilson) finishing a novel with the help of a stenographer (Hudson). The actors also play the book's characters in a parallel love story.

WHAT WE SAID: Times film critic Steve Persall gave the film a C- in his June review. "Try as he may, director Rob Reiner can't make Alex & Emma as irresistible as his earlier creations Harry and Sally. . . . Reiner's latest film is a cumbersome romantic comedy, fancy in design yet not fanciful, and a depressing reminder of what happens when hot young talent sells out too soon."

MPAA RATING: PG-13 for sexual content, profanity

RUNNING TIME: 100 min.

I Capture the Castle

DIRECTOR: Tim Fywell

CAST: Romola Garai, Marc Blucas, Rose Byrne, Henry Cavill, Sinead Cusack, Tara FitzGerald, Bill Nighy, Henry Thomas

SYNOPSIS: A teenager (Garai) in 1930s England matures with her dotty family in a decaying castle.

WHAT WE SAID: Times reviewer Philip Booth, who gave the film a B, called it "a touching comic drama adapted from a novel written by 101 Dalmatians author Dodie Smith. . . . It's a gentle, funny story, carefully told but not full of surprises."

MPAA RATING: R for brief nudity

RUNNING TIME: 111 min.

L'Auberge Espagnole

DIRECTOR: Cedric Klapisch

CAST: Romain Duris, Cecile De France, Kelly Reilly, Xavier De Guillebon, Kevin Bishop

SYNOPSIS: Seven students from various European countries share a Spanish inn and each other's romantic attention. In French with English.

WHAT WE SAID: Booth called the film, which he gave a C+, a cross between "The Real World set in Barcelona (and) an earnest coming-of-age story. . . . The result is a mildly entertaining, if forgettable, young-adult comic melodrama - complete with drugs, pot and an impromptu drunken sing-along of Bob Marley's No Woman, No Cry - doing double duty as an art-house flick."

MPAA RATING: R for language and sexual content

RUNNING TIME: 119 min.

The Medallion

DIRECTOR: Gordon Chan

CAST: Jackie Chan, Julian Sands, Claire Forlani, Lee Evans

SYNOPSIS: Chan dishes out more martial arts mayhem with a touch of silliness, playing a detective killed in the line of duty who comes back to life through supernatural means.

WHAT WE SAID: Booth gave the film a C-. "It's difficult to recall another recent movie with as much slapstick and as few laughs as this one," he said in his August review. "Chan's moves aren't nearly as zippy, amusing or death-defying as they were in the old days. . . . Think of the movie as a release that might have gone straight to video were it not for the marketing potential of a theatrical run."

MPAA RATING: PG-13 for violence

RUNNING TIME: 88 min.

Anything Else

DIRECTOR: Woody Allen

CAST: Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Woody Allen, Stockard Channing, Danny DeVito, Jimmy Fallon, Diana Krall

SYNOPSIS: Allen wrote, directed and co-stars in a romantic comedy about a writer (Biggs) in love with a woman (Ricci) he can't satisfy.

WHAT WE SAID: Reviewer Marty Clear said the film felt like a remake of Annie Hall. "That's not to say that the new movie is worthless, or even that it's without charm. But for anyone who has seen and appreciated Annie Hall, it's just too familiar. It's like Allen has taken a paint-by-numbers template of his earlier film and reworked it with different colors." He gave it a C+.

MPAA RATING: R for drug and sexual references

RUNNING TIME: 108 min.

[Last modified December 24, 2003, 10:06:17]


This Weekend

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  • Dine
  • Food and wine events
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  • It's a modest payoff
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  • Get Away: Down the road
  • New Year's Eve revel-ation
  • Open today
  • Other New Year's Eve events

  • Inside Information
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  • Nite Out
  • Hot Ticket: Oodles of originality, $7
  • Upcoming comedy shows

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  • Team Pop Trivia
  • Ticket window and down the road

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  • Hot Ticket: In celebration of St. Petersburgs

  • Video / DVD
  • New releases
  • Upcoming releases and current rankings

  • Year in review: 2003
  • Pop: An arresting year
  • Art: One very bright spot in lackluster year
  • Film: At the finish line, it's 'Seabiscuit'
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